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Chemical overhaul

(article, Melanie Mesaros)

Introduced in Congress last month by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act may finally overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act — a law that hasn’t been touched since 1976. 

The legislation is designed to force chemical companies to prove their chemicals are safe before they use them. The bill would require new chemicals be tested before they are sold and calls for the 62,000 chemicals currently sold on the market to be tested. It would also allow the Environmental Protection Agency to offer incentives to companies to reduce hazards. 

According to the EWG, babies are born with as many as 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies. The group claims increasing pollution is associated with a number of conditions such as autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, cancers, and infertility. 

An article this month in the American Chronicle points out that conventionally grown apples — the second most popular fruit, after bananas — had as many as 36 pesticides when tested.  

Some notables backing the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act include the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the Pew Charitable Trusts.